Cody and the Bucks Did It
Many of us were not sure if this was possible, but these guys did it. Without the help of WWE, Ring of Honor, or New Japan – Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks actually sold out 10,000 seats while self funding All In. What a crazy world of wrestling we live in right now, huh? One thing is for certain – the game has now changed for Independent Wrestling.
It All Started with a Bet
Dave Meltzer was so sure that Ring of Honor couldn’t sell out a 10,000 seat arena. Cody didn’t like that and thus, All In was born. It’s super crazy to think about it. In less than 30 minutes, the Sears Centre was completely sold out. I was completely crushed, too, because I was unable to find tickets. Luckily, someone was kind enough to arrange a deal with me to buy tickets that they were not able to use due to prior arrangements. However, I am now All In and cannot be happier about it. This isn’t the point of this article, though. So, lets get to the point.
Vince McMahon Needs to Pay Attention
To me, the biggest takeaway from today is this – The WWE does not have the vice grip on wrestling like everyone thinks they do. We see reports all the time about WWE struggling to sell out house shows, struggling to sell out PPVs, and losing viewers all the time. Where do we think these viewers are going? Well, check the internet wrestling community, because we know. The viewers are going to New Japan, Progress, Ring of Honor, PWG, and any other promotion you can think of. The MLW network has launched and is doing well, from all reports. Impact Wrestling is now on a resurgence. It’s insane, but Independent Wrestling as a whole is building itself to potential threaten the way Vince McMahon does business.
We all know that Vince won’t like this. He has probably heard about the Young Bucks and Cody selling out 10,000 seats in 30 minutes. And before I offend someone with this, yes I know 10,000 seats is a lot less than the arenas WWE tasks themselves with selling out, but today’s events make you wonder – how many tickets could they have sold?
Quality over Quantity
I know, it seems like we have a huge wrestling event every weekend and after the War of the Worlds tour, its hard to take this statement seriously, but I think one of the biggest factors in turning people away from WWE is just the quantity of wrestling required to keep up. It’s exhausting to watch 6 hours of Main Roster programming. It’s even more exhausting to realize that is another 3-4 hours of programming during a PPV week. To put that into perspective, two nights of Dontaku was around 7 hours of wrestling and all of the War of the Worlds tour was around 9 hours of programming. You’re talking about two major events that still ended up being a reasonable amount of content. War of the Worlds was over 4 nights and still seems to be a reasonable amount of wrestling for an event that is huge for them.
This is Good for the Fans
Sincerely, this is a good thing for the fans. Hopefully, Vince takes notice of this and realizes that the wrestling world is changing again and he needs to get on board. No, we aren’t in any danger of WWE not becoming the top brand in all of wrestling because that will never happen. However, the ratings will continue to slip and we now know people are building and supporting independent wrestling with their own version of a WrestleMania weekend. And All In will only get bigger. Typically, Vince likes to buy the guys that are making money – but this seems different, doesn’t it? All the talk from Kenny, Cody, and the Bucks always seems like place holders until they move on to WWE one day, but I’m not so sure anymore.
This Kind of Success Changes Everything
Success is the story for today. Not only success in their goal, but success in proving to themselves and the world that the Bullet Club doesn’t need WWE to be famous and successful wrestlers making plenty of money. These guys aren’t wrestling for a hot dog and a handshake like many WWE only fans think “indie wrestlers” do. These guys are selling merchandise, selling out arenas, and making history. We are truly in a great time for Independent Wrestling and I am so curious to see what happens. I hope it changes Vince’s way of doing business and I hope it continues to grow. The game has changed and we are all just living in the world the Bullet Club runs. Stay tuned everyone – the ride is only going to be more interesting the rest of the way.
Anthony is a recent wrestling fan and a massive supporter of New Japan and Ring of Honor. His recent adoration of the Bullet Club has turned him on to watching even more wrestlers from those promotions. His opinions can be extreme, but he is just very passionate about independent wrestling. Anthony runs the social media for Smark to Death. If you click on his picture, you can follow his personal Twitter (@AnthonySuter) and you can also follow along as he live tweets wrestling events from the Smark to Death Twitter account (@smarktodeath).